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"The children of Isreal being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, through divine interposition, decided in his favor. The Jews, elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, 'Rule thou over us, thou and thy son, and thy son's son.' Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but a heredetary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, 'I will not rule over you, THE LORD SHALL RULE OVER YOU. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor, but denieth their right to give it; neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive style of a Prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of heaven." (Thomas Paine, Common Sense)

Putting secular authority above divine authority brings down a curse from God, which curse is described in the story of Samual, and is stated succintly by Thomas Penn: "THOSE WHO WILL NOT BE GOVERNED BY GOD WILL BE RULED BY TYRANTS." Thus it is that tyrants, whether they be despots who force their will on the people or a lawless mob which elects a despot to deprive people of God-given rights, usurp the rightful power of just laws and bring down the just curse of God upon their nation. Note, in the scriptures quoted by Thomas Paine, that it was the people, not Gideon or Samual, who sought to elect a king to lord over them so that they might be "like all the nations" of the earth. There is no reason why a king cannot be elected as such by the people, e.g., Adolf Hitler was elected with 39% of the vote, but whether chosen or not, if any king, or any people, place secular authority above God's authority, theirs, eventually, will be the kingdom of hell.

Insofar as Thomas Paine interprets these scriptres to mean that the King of kings is against kingship or monarchy, he sadly missed the point. The people, in rejecting God as the rightful moral authority to be Lord of their hearts, choose, in democratic fashion, to usurp the laws of love and truth, which are the everlasting oracles of God, the Ten Commandments, and to make themselves the judges of the law, which is to say, kings and demi-gods, who lord over themselves, via their chosen ruler, in the lawlessness of sin, whereas, to avoid the curse of God, they must submit to love and truth, without which there can be no justice, and, in short, they must allow themselves to be judged by the word of God rather than making of themselves, either directly or indirectly through rulers, the judges of God's word. Thus God rebukes the people, not Samual or Gideon, both of whom ruled as kings, as did king David. For what is the elected king whose people will not submit to the authority of God but a tyrant who is slave to the nature of things and the feckless whims of a mob? And who are the people who elect such a tyrant king if not the tyrant's tyrannical co-conspirators and task masters?

Therefore, as the Christian patriots of the American Revolution rightly said, "No king but King Jesus!"

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